KIRKLAND, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will miss at least three weeks with a strained ligament in his right knee, coach Mike Holmgren confirmed on Monday.

An MRI showed the Pro Bowl quarterback strained the medial collateral ligament while getting rolled into by a Minnesota pass rusher during Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.

“There are three levels (of seriousness),” Holmgren said. “So he’s right in the middle.

“He’s on crutches for a few days … I guess it’s kind of good news for me. It could have been worse.”

Seneca Wallace, a fourth-year veteran, will make his first NFL start on Sunday at Kansas City (3-3).

The Seahawks (4-2) are already without league MVP Shaun Alexander, who remains out indefinitely with a broken foot.

On the opening drive of the second half Sunday, Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson got past a block from fullback Mack Strong. Henderson then swung the left side of his torso into the lower half of Hasselbeck’s right leg, which was planted after Hasselbeck had just thrown an incomplete pass.

Hasselbeck crumpled to the ground immediately, rolled over and then tried to get up. When he could not put weight on the leg to stand, he fell again and angrily pounded the turf while trainers rushed to his side.

Hasselbeck was taken the sideline with his weight on the shoulders of two trainers.

“I was falling to the ground and Mack Strong kind of pushed. I definitely didn’t mean to do it,” Henderson said. “It was definitely an accident, I hope he gets back soon.”

When asked if he thought it was a clean hit on Hasselbeck, Holmgren said Monday, “I’m going to stay away from that … I’m going to let someone else make that call.”

Wallace was 14-for-25 for 134 yards passing and two interceptions playing almost the entire second half on Sunday, after spending last week’s practices running the scout team. He also lost a fumble in his own end zone while Ben Leber sacked him. Kevin Williams covered the ball for Minnesota’s final score.

“For the circumstances, I think I did all right,” Wallace said after the game.

AP-ES-10-23-06 1812EDT


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